RE: Re[4]: continuity of self [ was META: Sept. 11 and Singularity]

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Sep 15 2002 - 21:43:22 MDT

> Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree; that is, if you believe
> "scarcity based" / "zero sum" / "selfish" thinking is so deeply
> ingrained in "human nature" that technology is the only way to
> overcome it. I have seen it being transcended in individual cases and
> in small circles of people; and I suspect it can even happen to some
> degree in certain subcultures (early hippie movement, rave culture).
> And I am not at all (yet) convinced it hasn't been transcended (or
> absent to begin with) in other or past cultures.
> You may turn out to be right, but then again this may be an issue
> where self-fulfilling-prophecy / placebo effects are significant.
> --
> Cliff

"Technology is the only way to overcome it" would be an overstatement.

However, it does seem pretty clear to me that

a) technology is on a path of exponential acceleration

b) spiritual advancement of humanity is not

Could b) undergo some kind of threshold effect that would allow it to
overtake a) ?

Sure, it's not impossible. But unfortunately, I see no reason to believe
this, other than wishful thinking.

The "hundredth monkey" effect posited by New Agers for some time, has yet to
be observed en masse..

I agree that it would be BETTER if humanity drastically improved itself
mentally, emotionally and spiritually before launching the Singularity. I'm
just doubting that's how it's gonna go down...

-- Ben G

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